Greenville residents petition for Evans Street bike lanes

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Advocates in Greenville were excited about initial plans to add bike lanes as part of the Evans Street widening project.

“People want to get up and move, and they want to do so safely,” said local biker Tony Parker. “We also live in a society where not everybody can afford a car or the bike routes don’t match where the jobs or the schools or the churches are.”

The Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission was even planning to introduce one of the routes for the North-South Connector as a way for people to bike from Winterville to uptown Greenville.

But each suggestion included Evan’s Street, and with the Evans Street widening project on hold,the bike lanes that were intended to be part of that project may no longer be a reality

“Without this widening project that includes the bike lanes, again there’s no real easy way to get people here to there,” said Katy Webb, the Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission’s chairwoman. “It’s over four miles long to get them through those neighborhoods.”

Parker said biking in the city isn’t safe without the bike lanes.

“People have tried it,” said Parker. “They’ve tried to come down Greenville Boulevard through routes that are not on Evans Street, and it’s an impossibility. So what we need to do is just step back, take a look at Evans Street and go ahead and finish the project like we started it.”

He garnered the support of hundreds with a petition to include bike lanes as part of the Evans Street widening project, and he said it’s time for city leaders to listen up.

“Are we going to create a legacy of the future where we have a walkable, bikeable community or are we going to step back and have a legacy of creating another city like Atlanta, where it’s just nothing but car-centric without thought or consideration for those who are on foot or on bike?” Parker asked.

The commission is working on a resolution to send to the Greenville City Council, asking them to reconsider adding bike lanes on Evans Street.

If that doesn’t work, they’ll start working on other options to help bikers safely navigate the city.

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